The Imperial Age

The Imperial Age was the time of two great empires – dragonborn Arkhosia and tiefling Bael Turath. No exact dating was known and reports are conflicting. On the one hand, the Imperial Age may have ended thousands of years ago, since Vor Kragal was exposed to the world recently for “the first time in millennia”. (DR364, p.19) On the other hand, the Turathi city of Harrack Unath fell only a few centuries ago, while the Bael Turath Empire still stood. (DR368, p.80)

Other Events During This Age

Anything described as happening a thousand years ago or more, but not related to a specific race (which would seem more appropriate to the Dawn Age) is included here.

Over a thousand years ago, the Great Upheaval occurred in the planar city of Sigil, causing two factions — the Sodkillers and Sons of Mercy — to unite as the Mercykillers. The Mercykillers kept law and order in Sigil for six centuries. (DR370, pp.14-15)

A thousand years ago, the exarch Irfelujar betrays Vecna and turns to the service of Tiamat. (DU171, p.57)

A thousand years ago, the Grave-Minders transform from a group dedicated to preventing Primodials from escaping their prisons, to harnessing the treasures and powers of the Elemental Chaos. (SotEC, p.40)

The ancient red dragon Ashardalon was defeated by the great druid Dydd. (DR365, p.54)

Rise of Two Empires

Arkhosia

Arkhosia was founded at Io'vanthor, which some believe was once the earthly palace of the dragon god Io. (DR369, p.32)

The dragonborn of Bahamut finally triumphed over those of Tiamat, forging the empire of Arkhosia in the arid lands of the south, in a unified array of dragonborn city-states ruled over by royal lines of mighty dragons led by a dragon emperor named the Golden One and a dragonborn bureaucracy supported the nobles, protected by a military headed by the clan Moonscale. (R&C, p.24; W&M, p.21; DR365, p.26)

Arkhosia banned the worship of Tiamat, but it thrived as a secret cult. (DR369, p.32)

The empire expanded its territories with the aim of bringing civilization, knowledge and security to untamed places and ignorant peoples. It expanded mostly through peaceful mean, rather than by force. Within a mere few centuries, Arkhosia came to rule large portions of the known realms. Many tribes and nations of other races deemed it better to live within the borders of the powerful empire, than to fend for themselves in a dark world. (DR369, p.32; PHBH-Drb, p.6)

The Arkhosians founded the floating stronghold of Ustraternes to help oversee their holdings. (DR369, p.14)

In a border kingdom, the popular card game Three-Dragon Ante was created. (Three-Dragon Ante, The Emperor's Gambit rulebook)

CY-1000: Vlaakith ascended the throne of Tu’narath as the lich-queen of the githyanki “over a thousand years” ago. (MM, p.129)

Bael Turath

Bael Turath was founded by humans. (PHB, p.49; R&C, p.44; DR368, p.71)

The empire expanded its territories by force, enslaving the conquered nations. Within a mere few centuries, Bael Turath came to rule large portions of the known realms. (PHBH-Tlg)

Sarthel is a surprisingly old city, dating back two thousand years or more. It first grew to prominence as a provincial capital in the tiefling empire of Bael Turath (DR398, "Nerathi Legends: Sarthel")

When the empire expanded beyond the grasp of its power-hungry nobles, they swore to retain their rule even at the cost of their humanity. After destroying a few houses that refused, the nobles summoned devils and used rituals to seal their infernal pacts, becoming the first tieflings. Ivania Dreygu and Vorno Kahnebor of Harrack Unarth were the first to volunteer to engage in the pact with devils. Boosted by the new-found powers, the Hell-Chained Empire continued to expand. (PHB, p.49; R&C, p.44; DR368, p.71)

The primary devil with whom Bael Turath entered into infernal pacts was Asmodeus himself, founding the Black Academy to study the dark blessings the Archdevil bestowed. (DR381, p.88) Asmodeus compelled each of the other eight lords of Hell to impart one secret of their magic to the warlocks of Bael Turath. The lords of Hell, loathe to surrender an iota of their might to mortals, attached a price to their spells. (DR386, p.46)

The skulks were a caste of slaves left out of the compact with Asmodeus. They responded with a night of rage that left cities in flames and nobles, merchant princes, and other slave masters dead, their throats slashed while they slept. The demon lord Graz’zt, delighted at the skulks’ treachery, granted the few skulks who survived that night the gift of supernatural stealth. (MM3, p.176)

The tieflings of Bael Turath created the kruthiks by infusing reptiles with fiendish blood. (MM, p.171)

One of the marvels created by Bael Turath is the Mercury Wasp figurine. (DR384, p.22)

Imperial Wars

Initial Conflict

Bael Turath and Arkhosia came into contact, descending into “decades of warfare”. (Other sources say the wars spanned “hundreds of years”.) Border skirmishes grew with each year. Several full-scale wars broke out, including the War of Wings. (R&C, p.44; PHB, p.49; DR365, pp.26-27)

The dragonborn warlord Dhuryan Flamebrow became famous all over Arkhosia and wrote the Flamebrow manifesto. At the same time in Bael Turath, the tiefling warlord Malachi wrote the Hellpath Tome. (MP, p.124-125)

Battles Rage

Myrdroon led storm giants and white dragons against the tiefling capital of Vor Kragal. His Spear of the Skylord destroyed Middendark and shattered. The storm giant lord was slain by poisonous arrows shortly after. (DR364, p.23)

The silver dragon Arantor and his protege Imrissa agreed to aid Arkhosia by attacking the Turathi outpost of Monadhan. Too late, the dragons discovered the outpost had only infirm, elderly, women and children. The dragons argued over how to deal with this, and Arantor slew Imrissa. This transported Arantor and Imrissa into the Shadowfell. (DR378, pp.12-13)

The War of Teeth began. Serpentus Rift, one of the seven Jewels of the South, was destroyed by a massive earthquake dragon, possibly unleashed by the tieflings. The threat was ended by an entire dragonborn army. (W&M, p.22; R&C, p.44)

The foul magic of the Turathi defiled the lands of Arkhosia, but unknown to the tieflings, their own land was poisoned by this magic, and eventually this would lead to the fall of both empires. (DR369, p.32)

A mortal army escapes into the Astral Sea and takes over the Triad Island of Morisia. (SotAS, p.127)

A noble fang dragon named Zebukiel makes a truce with the tieflings to end the war on peaceful terms. The tieflings swear they would stop the fighting if the Arkhosians also did. Zebukiel, knowing that this would be impossible, slew many dragon lords to stop the war. However, he was discovered and an exarch of Bahamut cursed him to not die from age, accident or infirmities, but only through a brutal death. Zebukiel was cast down from the draconic society and was named the Gray Worm. (Draco1, p. 248)

The Turathi known as the Ruby Wizard, a former military hero, was captured by Torog. Seeing the necessity of the wisdom of the Ruby Wizard in the war, the nobles of the Turathi city of Maelbrathyr send five scions, the Pride of Maelbrathyr, to rescue him from the depths of the Underdark. Although the Pride of Maelbrathyr was successful in rescuing the Ruby Wizard, in retribution, Torog pulled the entire city to the Underdark, where he tortured and slain all of the citizens for blaspheming against him. The cries of the citizens of Maelbrathyr were audible on the surface for years. (Und, p.38)

Centuries ago, after the death of its ageless lord Vorno Kahnebor, but while the Empire of Bael Turath still stood, the city of Harrack Unath fell under a dark curse and was abandoned. (DR368, pp.71, 80)

War of Ruin

The final War of Ruin breaks out. A ten-year siege ends when the tiefling general Achazriel tunnels into Razortear, an Arkhosian fortress. Both sides suffer heavy losses, and the Battle of Razortear marks the beginning of the end for both empires. (R&C, p.44)

Just a few short decades before the war’s end, some devils recruit some Turathi tieflings to abandon their Empire and serve them directly. These tieflings would become known as the Shemathi. (DR390, pp.51-52) Ten years later, Shemathi agents infiltrate and destroy a small druid circle. The sole surviving druid Haziah divine they are working directly for their devil patrons. The Shemathi kill her as she prepares an organized opposition to them. (DR390, pp.51-52) A decade after Haziah's death, her friend and warden Rhagash drives back the Shemathi and founds the Circle of Smoke and Whispers. (DR390, p.52)

When tiefling magic brings down the floating citadel of Ustraternes, many see it as an omen of the Dragonborn Empire's ultimate demise. (DR369, p.14)

Vor Kragal disappears in a mysterious cataclysm that buries the city beneath the earth. (DR364, p.19)

Io'vanthor falls when it becomes corrupted by cultists of Tiamat, who opened to city gates to Turathi invaders, thinking the Turathi would slay the remaining worshipers of Bahamut and then they would slay the Turathi. However, Bael Turath is destroyed at the same time, and the Turathi forces were forced to live in the ruins of Io'vanthor. (DR369, p.32)

The slaves of the former nobles of Bael Turath start a revolt against the surviving tieflings. Many tieflings hide themselves in humans tribes and nations, where they start to live like the peoples they enslaved in the past. (PHBH-Tfg)

The Anatheaum of Bael Turath, the great temple where the original pacts that gave birth to the tiefling race were stored,is destroyed at the end of war. (R&C, p.44)

The Golden One and many dragon lords die in the final battle against the forces of Bael Turath. The surviving dragon lords flee the battlefield, leaving the dragonborn survivors to fend for themselves. (DR365, p.27; PHBH-Drb, p.6-7)

Aftermath

Without resources or will left to fight to continue the war, the surviving tiefling and dragonborn alike are left with no choice but to largely abandon their lands in search of refuge elsewhere in the world. (DR365, p.27)

Kuyutha, the last paladin of Arkhosia, gathers and protects the surviving dragonborn clans after the fall of the empire. As a reward, Bahamut makes him one of his exarchs. (Drc2, p.209)

At the end of the War of Empires, five adventurers discover and prevent a Far Realms plot to invade the World. They found the Celestian Order to prevent that invasion in the future. (DR375, p.6)